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by Brendan Higgins, contributing writer
Saturday night at Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino, a jammed packed high energy crowd witnessed another incredible night of CES boxing presented by Jimmy Burchfield. From top to bottom this was a typical CES event with plenty of action and drama plus a sprinkle of controversy.
The main event saw Toka Kahn of Providence, win a unanimous 10 round decision over the very tough Jonathan Oquendo of Vega Alta, Puerto Rico. With this hard-fought victory, Kahn captured the vacant WBC Silver Super Featherweight title while improving his record to 29-3, with 19 KO’s. Oquendo fell to 31-8.
In other bouts, Francis Hogan of Weymouth, Massachusetts, scored a second-round knockout over Derrick Vann, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in a scheduled six round contest. Hogan is a top prospect for CES. In fact, he was named the top prospect for 2023. This is really no surprise because, in reality, all CES fighters are top prospects. Hogan improved to 13-0 while Vann dropped to 3-6.
In the heavyweight division, Sean Bey, fighting out of Big Six Boxing in Providence, won a four-round decision over journeyman Terrell Woods of Forrest City, Arkansas. With over 90 pro fights under his belt the experience factor went to Woods. In addition, the dirty fighter factor also went to Woods, as he attempted to use every dirty trick in the book to try and end Bey’s undefeated winning streak.
Woods was unsuccessful in his effort. In the first round, Woods delivered an obvious low blow that forced Bey to one knee. This of course was the only way Woods could have any type of chance to defeat Bey. Woods also landed a cheap shot punch to the back of the head which drew a warning from the referee. This was the first time Sean Bey had to go the distance to win a fight. He had previously knocked out all seven of his opponents quickly. Six of which ended in the first round.
As Sean Bey improved to 8-0 there were many positives for him to take away from this fight. This was an opportunity for Sean to get in there with a more experienced fighter. It was also a chance to go into later rounds. I’m not saying knocking people out in the first round isn’t a good way to end a fight because it is. My point is Sean Bey will have to deal with conditions like he faced with Terrell Woods (who fell to 28-56-9) as he moves up in the standings. The stakes will be higher, and the fighters will be tougher. For now, Sean Bey passed this test and it’s on to the next one. Bey wants to be world champion. Tonight, he took another step in making that dream a reality.
In other action, featherweight Michael “Bling Bling” Valentin of Providence, improved to 7-1 defeating Joshua Maldonado from Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, who fell to 1-3.
In lightweight action, Elijah Peixoto of East Providence, won a four round unanimous decision over a young man making his professional debut, Robert Banks, of Baldwin, New York. Peixoto improved to 4-0 with 4 KO’s while Banks fell to 0-1.
Heavyweight, Chad Leoncello, of Brockton, Massachusetts, scored a second-round knockout over Gabriel Costa, of Woburn, Massachusetts. Chad appeared to have a gameplan to attack the body. He executed his plan landing several body shots. Then, mid-way through the second round, he landed a devastating body shot that send Costa to the canvas for good. Chad improved his record to 1-0-1. Costa fell to 0-3.
From top to bottom this was a solid show. The crowd was red hot for the entire evening. Many of the fighters on the card were from Rhode Island and Massachusetts. They all had strong cheering sections. The show itself was fast paced with plenty of action. Jimmy Burchfield and CES did their usual outstanding job giving the fans their money’s worth. Some of the faces in the crowd expressed to me how much they enjoyed coming to the matches, with some attending for the very first time. Rochelle Rose and Brenton Bishop of Fall River came to support Sean Bey. Francis Hogan also had many fans in attendance. Toka Kahn was right in his backyard with great crowd support as well. However, the response for Chad Leoncello was incredible. It felt like he had the entire city of Brockton there to cheer him on. It was very emotional and heartfelt.
For more information on CES MMA and BOXING visit cesfights.com
Brendan Higgins, writer and author, RIPTA bus driver, former professional wrestler (Knuckles Nelson), and North Kingstown resident.
We welcome Brendan as a contributing writer to RINewsToday.
To read a story about Brendan, from our sports department, go to: https://rinewstoday.com/knuckles-nelson-waking-up-from-the-wrestling-ring-to-the-yoga-mat-john-cardullo/
To read all stories by Brendan, here, go to: https://rinewstoday.com/brendan-higgins
Higgins is the author of “Waking Up: From the Wrestling Ring to the Yoga Mat